Stay safe! Busting the STI myths

/ 11 May 2016

That’s right; we’re talking safe sex. But before you roll your eyes and say, “yeah, yeah, we’ve heard it all before”, stay with us. Maybe you haven’t.

We’re all aware of the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases and infections, sure, but there’s a lot of misinformation out there too that could have dire consequences for your health. But never fear. We wouldn’t let that happen now, would we? Here are a few things you might not have quite right:

STIs and STDs are the same thing

First up, before we start talking about STIs (sexually transmitted infections) and STDs (sexually transmitted diseases), it’s important to understand that they’re actually two very different things. You might have noticed that recently STI is used more than STD and the reason is simple; STIs are always the starting point, but don’t necessarily lead to STDs.

For example, around 90% of women who get infected with HPV don’t exhibit any symptoms and clear the infection within two years, this is an STI and rarely leads to cervical cancer, the STD that HPV can result in.

Sexually transmitted infections can often be symptomless and don’t always lead to the nastier diseases they can cause right away, so if you diagnose an STI early through regular testing you may be able to avoid ever exhibiting symptoms of an STD.

You can’t get an STI from oral sex

You can, and it sucks. Forms of chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, herpes, HPV and even HIV can be transmitted through oral sex; you can both give and receive an STI from oral. Condoms and dental dams can prevent infections being spread but the best sure-fire way to avoid STIs from oral sex is to make sure both you and your partner have been tested beforehand.

You can’t get an STI if the guy pulls out before climax

If only it were this simple, nope, you still can. Same goes for getting pregnant, FYI.

Once you’ve had an STI you can’t get the same one again

Yep, YOU CAN. This ain’t chicken pox.

STIs will go away on their own

Nope! While they can often be symptomless, this doesn’t mean they aren’t there and waiting for the perfect moment to pounce. The quicker you get rid of them the less chance of long lasting damage. So regular check-ups and treatment as soon as an STI is detected are absolute musts.

STI/STD tests are horrible, painful experiences

You might have heard some horror stories about various objects going *ahem* up things, painful injections and all manner of nasty experiences. But, actually, an STI test is often as simple as urine test. Peeing in a cup can be tricky, but it’s not exactly a horrifying experience is it? As for the other stuff, it’s 2016, going to the doctor doesn’t hurt anymore! These guys know what they’re doing. Plus, nothing they can do to you at the clinic is as bad as what the STI/STDs can do to you.

Wearing two condoms makes you less likely to get an STI

Sounds genius right? NOPE. Wearing two condoms can actually generate more friction, which can cause the condom to rip or tear which can leave you exposed. Best to stick to one. If you’re worried, maybe try extra-safe condoms, they’re much more reliable.

You can get an STI from a toilet seat

This is a terrifying myth. It can’t happen, so don’t worry! There has to be bodily contact (with the exception of needles) for you to get an STI. Oh and for the record, you don’t have to wear your full hazmat suit around anyone with an STI; you’re safe unless you have sex with them!

If someone has an STI, they must be sleeping around

Not true, it only takes one time to catch an STI so that’s no indication of how much sex someone is having. Oh and if someone is having lots of sex, SO WHAT!? As long as they’re being safe, it’s all good.

So there you have it folks, hope we’re all clear! Say safe out there, yeah?

If there’s anything you’re still not sure about, feel free to hit up on @mtvstayingalive or head over to for more advice!